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The New York Times have held an interview with Hasbro’s chief executive Brian D. Goldner regarding the Transformers line in which he described the toys have having "lost their magic". Mr Goldner made the statement whilst referring to the complexity of the toys these days compared to earlier incarnations. “We’ve made incredibly sophisticated robots,” he said, “but it can be like a 1,000-piece puzzle.” he went on to say.
Goldner is quoted as having taking the decision that "the toys needed to return to their roots" and that he challenged the design team to relook at the figures to greatly simplify them. The result is that some of the figures will now change simply from the push of a button or a "flick of the wrist".
The article also confirmed that the toys will be on show to retailer at the British Toy Fair which takes place this week and that part of the reasoning for the change in the toys was to grant the instant gratification that is sort by children these days who attention span simply does not keep them interested in a more complicated figure.
Joshua Lamb, the senior design director for the brand, is quoted as stating that " “As new designers and engineers continued to work on this brand, it got more complicated,” he said. Hasbro will continue to make complex Transformers for adult fans who have collected the toys since their inception 30 years ago. But the new design is intended to re-engage parents and children, who found the transformations too challenging."
The figures will also be repackaging in a standard brand theme rather than separate sub-brands for say Generations, RescueBots, the Movie figures etc. According to the Jonathan Newkirk, the creative brand manager for Transformers, the new box design will leave "as much space as possible to celebrate the characters".
You can view an example of one of the new figure in the form of "Smash - Change" Optimus Prime below,
TFW2005.com board member catz has posted an image of what he claims is the TakaraTomy Transformers 4 toy solicitation he received from his toy supplier. The list, which can be viewed below, includes recolours from the previous Transformers Movie toys as well as launch dates, package dimensions and placeholder names.
ACToys.net have posted some more images of a factory leaked Transformers Age of Extinction Optimus Prime figure who, they report, will be the Leader Class version. The figure, which can be seen below, has chrome detailing which is unusual for a Western release, meaning that this might be a Japanese version of the figure, or is a hint to expect more chrome on the new line
Takara-Tomy Transformers designer, Hisashi Yuki, has updated his twitter feed with more new images of the upcoming Transformers Go Optimus EX Prime.
New images have found there way onto the internet, via Chinese stockists, of the upcoming Masterpiece Wheeljack figure. We have mirrored the images for your viewing pleasure, below,
In related news the Amazon Japan listing for Wheeljack has revealed that orders for the figure from Amazon will come with the anti-hypnosis device that was featured in the Generation One Series 1 three-parter called The Ultimate Doom.
Marcelo Matere has tweeted out that he will be sharing some Rescue Bot pencils over on his Facebook page and has already posted three, so if you are a fan of the little bots you may just want to head over to the book of faces for a peak.
Thanks to ACToys.net the first in-hand image of the Transformers Age of Extinction Leader Class Optimus Prime can now be revealed. The image, which can be seen below, clearly shows the two melee weapons with which the toy will come.
Autobase Aichi has posteda collection of images from the Tokyo's Super Festival which include a good look at the first two figures in thee-Hobby and Takara Tomy Mall exclusive project, "Transformers Cloud". Also on display at the event were three officially licensed Transformers figures, Action Toys' "Ultimetal Optimus Prime" which is the 17" non-Transforming figure who comes with lights, sounds, a moving faceplate, removable body panels, matrix and rifle but costs close to $1000. Art Storm were also on hand to show their G1 Roadbusters figures. First up is EM Gokin a detailed, articulated, non-transformable figure with the 2nd figure being ES Gokin who is a super-deformed figure that does transform. Head on over to Autobase Aichi for the images.
The CYBERGEEKS Alliance Facebook page have posted image of the solicitation for the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction figures. We have broken the list down into size groups below:
As has been expected, Hasbro UK are set to show off the Transformers 4 figures at the UK toy show here in London England on the 21st Jan. The bad news though is that no images and very little information, will be able to come out of this event due to the level of restrictions Hasbro UK have in place during the event.
The toys will only be shown off in Hasbro's "back room" which can be is only open to those with pre-arranged timeslots. These needs to be arranged through sales managers and are only granted to stores who hold large enough accounts with Hasbro. All photography is restricted within this area and, in the past, where leaks have happened, Hasbro UK have closed their booths and have tracked the leaks and threaterned to take legal action against those people. At one show, the G.I-Joe Movie products leaked thanks to photographs of some cards that were on display. This lead to Hasbro closing their booths to restrict further leaks of all of their items. We spoke to a representative of Hasbro's during that show who told us that they obviously have a list of everyone who has seen the products and the times that they saw the products, so tracking down the leaked source is not a difficult task. Sadly whilst these leaks are great for us fans, it does have the effect that retailers then can not see the products and this can lead to them being put off from even stocking them in the future.
That being said, other Age of Extinction licensed products will be shown at the event including Board Games and Bicycles. For those lucky enough to be allowed access to the Hasbro displayed, they will get to see 30 new characters 15 from the fourth movie and another 15 from the 30th Anniversary line.
All of the figures and, no doubt others, will then be shown off a month later at the US Toy Fair where the photography will be allowed.
TagHobby have posted a new listing for an Optimus Prime Premium Edition figure from the fourth live action Transformers Movie, Transformers Age of Extinction (or as it will be called within Japan; Transformers: Lost Age). The figure is priced at 7500yen or $72 (£44). A placeholder image is used for the figure who is described as being of "luxurious specification"
Youtube user kbigstonehas posted some rare footage that was recorded at the 1983 Tokyo Toy Show. This event is very important in the history of the Transformers line as it was at this show that representatives from Hasbro Inc spotted Takara's exhibit of both their Diaclone and Micro Change toy lines which started the process that lead to the creation of the Transformers. Whilst the quality of the footage is not great in places, it does feature both of these Takara lines being displayed.
in a new interview with Hasbro Studios' Stephen Davies, posted on WorldScreen.com, some early details regarding the next Transformers TV series (a reboot) have been given out. Everything was pretty much as expected, that the series will be made with a lighter tone, aimed at a younger audience and taking queues from Rescue Bots.
TV KIDS: What new shows do you have coming up?
DAVIES: We have this great new show, which is kind of the entry point forTransformers for littler boys called Transformers Rescue Bots. Although interestingly, when we reimagined Transformers for a younger generation, typically big brother doesn’t want to watch what little brother is watching, but because the Transformers brand resonates across so many generations and it’s so relevant and relatable, we’re actually finding that while we conceived Rescue Bots principally for 4- to 5-year-olds, the older brother, who is 7 or 8 years old, is also watching with little brother.
We just talked about co-viewing and children wanting to watch with their parents, well, now we have this show where little brother wants to watch with older brother and big brother also wants to watch with little brother, which is a phenomenal opportunity because, again, there are not a lot of shows where you have that kind of multigenerational appeal at all levels. In fact, Rescue Botsinspired us for our new chapter of Transformers, because Rescue Bots is a much simpler show to understand, the transformations are much simpler, and it’s a lighter, brighter, more humorous approach. So a lot of what we learned fromRescue Bots we are now applying to our new Transformers series.
It starts with Transformers; we’ve had several very successful seasons ofTransformers Prime. Excitedly, Finn Arnesen, who runs international distribution for us, is introducing our new Transformers series, which is a lot of fun because it really harkens back to the old Transformers: Generation 1 days. It’s a lighter, brighter more comedic show. It’s still full of all the wonderful characters that our fans love, but it’s really a complete reimagination of our Transformers series, which we will be rolling out next year.
TagHobby.com have leaked out the first official image of the grey prototype for MP-20 Wheeljack who is due for a release on the 23rd August in Japan